March 1, 2009
By Rady Ananda
Remember when you could pay all your bills and still save? Remember when you could go to the club every weekend, and to the ballet, and to the Shaw Festival up in Canada? Or, travel the country on a two-week road trip every couple years, taking your time and seeing everything you’ve heard about and more? Remember when women fawned over you and you realized that popularity had an emotional price?
Remember when politics were interesting and important and that’s all you could talk about? Then, years later, remember when you avoided it? Couldn’t stand to hear stupid opinions from people who hadn’t cracked a book in ten years. Couldn’t stand how people erupted in anger and name-calling. Couldn’t understand foreign policy or economics, though you always got good grades, so couldn’t talk about it anyway.
Remember attending college in your 40s and having to stifle laughter at the absurd myths perpetuated by college professors? Whatever. Get the A.
Remember when voting seemed like the most important thing you could do as a citizen? As simple as it was, it seemed even more important than any of the protests you attended, or signs you painted, or letters or articles you wrote. Remember when you learned that software is undetectably mutable?
Do you remember when the cracks began to form in your illusion of the US of A? Do you remember the moment when Humpty Dumpty fell of the wall? And no matter what anybody said or did (all the king’s horses and all the king’s men), you could no longer buy the illusion. You were forever changed.
Do you remember the 60s when the most beloved leaders of our nation – civic and political – were assassinated? If not, do you remember Paul Wellstone (2002) or Gary Webb (2004) or Michael Connell (2008)?
If not, do you remember 911?
The USA PATRIOT Acts?
The Military Commissions Act?
The Clear Skies and Healthy Forests Acts?
The bloated military budget?
Telecom immunity for spying on citizens?
Cameras on every street corner?
Do you remember bailing out criminal bankers while millions in America lost (lose) their homes?
Remember how they partied when the government handed their bad debts to the public? Debts we didn’t incur and can’t ever pay? They’re robbin the hood.
As they said in the film, Swing Vote, “If America is the richest nation on Earth, how come so many of us can’t afford to live here?”